Friday, May 13, 2011

It's "Marriage Prayer Friday!"

This week, we are praying for parents and spouses who need a break as they give full-time care to a loved one with special needs.

A prayer for your own marriage—
MERCIFUL GOD, thank you for the cross which not only saves me but proves your understanding of every burden that I carry each day. You know that our family experiences great joy in caring for our loved one(s) with special needs. Thank you, Jesus, for the privilege of experiencing a servant's heart as we care for each other. But you also know that my spouse and I grow weary. Lord, the burden is often heavy and lonely. Show me ways to come alongside my spouse as a team sharing the burden. Forgive me for making this a solo sport sometimes! Help me to better understand how my spouse is experiencing the emotional and physical weight of the caregiving responsibilities. Help us to communicate better about our needs, concerns, and hopes. Help me to listen — and listen with my heart. Bind us together in fresh ways. Show me some practical things I can do to nurture my spouse so that he/she is encouraged and strengthened to do his/her part. Help me to leave my own neediness with You and empower me, by the strength and wisdom of your Holy Spirit, to bless my husband/wife. In ways that only You can, Lord, would you also make a way for my husband/wife to get some breaks. Create a way for us to get a break together as well!
Please use the disabilities in our family to strengthen us, not weaken us. You are God. You can do this! Thank You, in Jesus' name. AMEN

Something to pray for a friend's marriage—
MERCIFUL GOD, thank you for the cross which not only saves us but proves your understanding of every burden that we carry each day. Today I lift up the families I know who are caring for a loved one(s) with special needs. Thank you, Jesus, for their servant hearts and for the joys they gain from their experiences. But Lord, You also know the burden is often heavy and lonely. It can be a great weight on a marriage. Please strengthen these friends of mine helping them to share the joys and responsibilities as a team.
Refresh them with energy and discernment to share burdens and nurture each other more effectively.
Help them to communicate with each other freely and listen to each other with their hearts. Would you please make a way for them to get some breaks, Lord? You know how critical it is for them — individually and together — to get some time away. Show me what role I might play in lightening their load or supporting their marriage.
Please use the disabilities in my friends' families to strengthen them, not weaken them. You are God. You can do this! Thank You, in Jesus' name. AMEN

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